Thanks for the help! I was thinking that they would have the reading lights, FA call button, etc. on that panel, but because they were all on older planes, I thought it had some other purpose that you don't see on planes today.
IMissPiedmont- I guess I should have specified what "things" referred to. Sorry, my fault!!
A310/319/320/321/333, ARJ, BN2, B722/73S/733/734/735/73G/738/739/744/757/753/767/763/764/777, CR1/2/7/9, DH6, 328, EM2/ERJ/E70/E75/E90, F28/100, J31, L10/12/15, DC9/D93/D94/D95/M80/M88/M90/D10, SF3, SST